A quarter of motorists invalidate car insurance by not disclosing penalty points

13 September 2007 / by None
One in four drivers could be making their car insurance void by ‘keeping mum’ when it comes to telling insurance companies about any penalty points they have accrued since their last renewal, new research from comparison site Consused.com has revealed.

Penalty points and other driving convictions often get withheld by motorists that do not want them to cause a hike in their insurance premiums, relying on the fact that their insurance company will remain none the wiser, and putting their insurance policy in jeopardy of being invalid should they have to make a claim.

Motorists seem more than willing to be economical with the truth when it comes to informing their insurance company about any new convictions if it means keeping their premiums down, despite the fact that 96 per cent are aware that withholding such information could invalidate their policy.

Debra Williams, Confused.com Managing Director commented: “Insurers take a dim view of people who don’t update them immediately should their circumstances change. Changes in job title or annual mileage may seem insignificant to most drivers, but this can significantly affect your premiums. If you are caught lying about your details, your insurer can reduce your pay out and may even refuse to pay at all.

“If you move address, receive points for a driving conviction or have an accident, even if that is only a minor knock or ding, you need to notify your insurer immediately. Don’t risk waiting until your policy is up for renewal, as if you need to make a claim and a previous incident has not been reported, you could find that your policy isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”

Of those asked, 21 per cent said they would not inform their insurance provider of any penalty points, 20 per cent wouldn’t tell them about driving convictions, and 60 per cent wouldn’t disclose an increase in annual mileage.

As a further warning, Ms Williams added: “In the worst case scenario you could land yourself in hot water with the police and get a record for fraud, making it difficult and considerably more expensive to get cover in the future.”

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